Earth Hour 2017 – The Great Switch Off

WWF’s Slogan for 2017 is “Let’s Switch Off.”

It’s once again time to celebrate Earth Hour on March 25th by turning off your lights from 8:30pm to 9:30 pm and sitting in the dark; that sounds like a major hoot and a half, all right. As the WWF organizers tell us, we can invite friends to sit in the dark with us. If we are so inclined, we might even join others sitting in the dark at local businesses or landmarks. Of course, WWF says it is, “shining a light on the need for action on climate change.”

Where was WWF’s Earth Hour when I was trying to make time with Mary Sue Horsely? We could have gone to a local landmark such as Makeout Point where couples watched submarine races, even in Indiana. “Don’t you want to save the earth, Mary Sue? Here, let’s hug in the dark and use our body heat to stay warm…hmm…what? Why, yes that is a flashlight.” (I now understand what the British phrase “carrying a torch for her” means.)

Speaking of shining a light, how does turning out lights illuminate anything other than the need for light? Gee if only we had electricity. By WWF standards, North Korea is a “shining” example of WWF’s slogan this year: “Let’s Switch Off.”

Korean peninsula. Photo from the International Space Station

If you go to the WWF’s Earth Hour website (no, I won’t give you a link) they will tell you that their action has heightened awareness of their desire for cash or climate change, take your pick. As I have pointed out, it is far from certain that there is anything to worry about with climate change. And speaking of change, did WWF mention that they could use some change, as in cash?

The greater need is for electricity for our brothers and sister who sit in the dark not by choice but by necessity. “Some 1.2 billion people do not have access to electricity, according to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2016 report,” Ronald Bailey writes. “About 2.7 billion still cook and heat their dwellings with wood, crop residues, and dung.”

So if you really want to switch off in 2017, consider switching places with one of the 1.2 living without electric light and heat. Think of all the new skills you’ll learn: how to dry dung, how to carry water for a full day’s use by your family, how to keep smoke out of your eyes and lungs, and other nifty sustainable skills. They will learn how to flick a switch to turn on lights, stoves, and heaters, and how to bathe with clean hot water. Now that would be illuminating for all involved.

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